Jeri Hill worked this summer with wedding planner Teresa Hayes, the owner of Spectacular Settings. Teresa currently works from two locations, one in Maryville and in St. Joseph, but she serves areas well outside those limits as well. Over the course of the summer, Jeri worked about ten weddings.
“Each wedding can take anywhere from 3-12 hours to decorate depending on what services are requested,” said Jeri. Since she was an intern, many of the details for the weddings were planned already between Teresa and the brides, but she was still able to put together centerpieces, cover chairs, cover the ceiling, set up and decorate back drops, fold napkins, decorate dance floors, and set up guest, head, and cake tables.
Being a PR major, she also took pictures for Teresa’s website and Facebook page (where she gets a majority of her business) and also did some research to come up with new ideas to incorporate in designs.
Because Teresa serves such a large area, she would sometimes have numerous weddings on the same weekend. When this happened, Jeri was responsible for going to receptions before it began to light candles, turn on lights, and just make sure that everything was ready to go. There are so many things being coordinated the day of a wedding including catering and DJ setup that we want to make sure everything remains perfect so the bride and groom are happy when they arrive. After the reception, they would return to the venue to tear down the decorations which took place usually between midnight and 2 a.m.
Because wedding planning is what Jeri wants to go into, she explained how excited she was to have worked with Spectacular Settings. She said that she had never done anything with weddings before going into the internship so she was hoping the experience would steer her in the right direction.
The first wedding she worked with took 12 hours to complete. And needless to say she was a little overwhelmed. But she said that by far, her favorite part of the entire summer happened every time a bride came into the venue and saw the finished product. It seemed to make all of the hours and hard work completely worth it to be able to take the stress off the bride and groom and see them happy. Like she said, she had no previous experience with weddings before this internship, so of course she assumed it would be just like ‘The Wedding Planner’ and that she was going to be a Jennifer Lopez. The reality of what the entire process entails was the hardest part to get used to. Although it is incredibly rewarding when it is complete, the process of setting up and tearing down is a lot of work and involves many hours of your time.
“Teresa was an amazing mentor. I admire her ability to handle running two businesses and always putting her customers first. She does an amazing job with each wedding and I have learned so much from her and from the experience.” Jeri said that she is very fortunate enough to continue working with Spectacular Settings after my internship which allows her to continue learning and build her own portfolio.
Jeri explained that there is a large difference in planning and decorating. She told herself that she wanted to be a planner, but working with a business that only does the design has opened her eyes to the difference between the two. In the future, she hopes to work with someone who focuses on the planning aspect in order to see the differences in pathways.